The owners of Village Hearth Bakery & Cafe are giving back to the community in more ways than just good food – they are looking at ways they can bring people together to support a cause near and dear to them.
Stephanie & Lindsay Haigh have formed a non-profit organization, VHBC Pride, Inc., based in Jamestown. The organization’s goal is to unify the community in order to galvanize support, expand awareness, and increase visibility for the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies. The board of directors for VHBC, Inc. is made up of a diverse group of people within South County communities who have come together to find a way to create new, or boost, existing LGBTQIA+ youth programs within Jamestown and southern Rhode Island.
VHBC Pride, Inc. is looking at ways to expand its reach, efforts, and partnerships with local LGBTQIA+ organizations. We aim to create a supportive environment where the LGBTQIA+ youth can grow up feeling connected, safe, supported, valued, and celebrated. After speaking with several schools and community organizations, we realize that the LGBTQIA+ youth of Jamestown and southern Rhode Island greatly lack safe spaces where they can just be themselves.
The organization will be hosting its first fundraising event this summer, the Best Ball Golf Tournament on June 26th. Money raised at the event will go directly towards funding programs to support local LGBTQIA+ youth. Last year, Village Hearth Bakery & Cafe sold rainbow sweet treats to donate money to Newport Pride, whose mission is to build a more welcoming and inclusive LGBTQ+ community in Newport County. Newport Pride, in turn, provided financial aid to The East Bay MET School’s GSA (Genders & Sexualities Alliances) group, GLOW, in Newport County. GSAs are organizations that unite LGBTQIA+ and allied youth to build community and support around issues that impact them within their schools and communities. We are expanding on our partnership with Newport Pride this year.
“The funds from the VHBC Pride Golf Tournament will support the launch of our new Pride Center, which will allow us to support a wider LGBTQ+ community, including youth. We are beyond grateful to Village Hearth Bakery & Café and VHBC Pride for their support,” says Daniel Cano Restrepo, Executive Director for the non-profit. “While continuing these efforts with Newport Pride, we know that the LGBTQIA+ youth in our own backyard (Jamestown and Southern Rhode Island) need programs such as these as well. We hope our future fund-raising efforts will do just that,” says VHBC Pride’s President, Lindsay Haigh. “Stay tuned for more updates on this in the near future.”
The VHBC Pride, Inc. golf tournament will be held at the Jamestown Golf Course and golfers will tee off starting at 10 am. Interested golfers may sign up on Eventbrite (https://bit.ly/3MXwAll). The cost per golfer is $100, which includes a cart to take in the course’s beautiful scenery. Those interested in joining in on the afternoon celebrations may also purchase tickets for $40. This includes food, participation in the raffle, silent auction, and the tournament awards. A cash bar will also be available at the clubhouse. Those interested in sponsorship opportunities are asked to connect with the group via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We are hoping to get an eclectic assortment of fun items for the silent auction and the raffle.
Follow VHBC Pride on Facebook and Instagram for additional details about the golf tournament, as well as future plans and events!
MEET THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Lindsay Haigh, President
Lindsay was born and raised in New England and is returning to the area after spending over a decade in Georgia practicing law, and several years in the accounting field. Chef Haigh gained national recognition for her appearance on Season 9 of the popular television show, MasterChef, hosted by Gordon Ramsey. Lindsay has put her creative talents to work in the Village Hearth kitchen. She has carried on some of the bakery and café traditions, including, but not limited to, pizza night. She brought new, tasty items to the menu for adults, kids, and our beloved fur babies.
Kim McLaughlin, Vice President:
Kim is a RI native who, while attending URI in 1989, met her husband Billy, who was a Jamestown resident. They married in 1994 at St. Marks Church and raised 3 children, Liam, Madison, and Erin, in Massachusetts. They added their pup, Holly, to the family 8 years ago. They returned to Jamestown in 2021 and purchased the family home where they fell in love with the island and community. Kim currently works in the tech industry and has a long history of fundraising and volunteering. She is a longtime sports enthusiast, fan, and player who thrives on positive energy. This encourages her drive to fight for fairness and equality. Kim feels empowered raising a strong family that embraces each other and those around them. This mindset helps her family create an energy that they carry throughout life confidently and as a group or individuals. The power of positivity is relentless.
Stephanie Haigh, Secretary:
Stephanie is a Georgia native. She transitioned from a 25-year career as a leader in the talent acquisition/human resources field to acquire the bakery & cafe with her wife, Lindsay. She manages the front of the house at the bakery, handles all vendor relations, and communicates with the community through social media. She and Lindsay have made Jamestown their forever home with their three fur babies.
Cheri is a retired detective from the East Providence Police Department. During her 21 years as a police officer, she spent nine of them assigned as a School Resource Officer working with adolescents. This work helped her to understand the importance of not only making young people feel safe, but also accepted and heard. Cheri lives in South County with her wife, 7-year-old son and golden retriever.
Emilie Tamboe moved to Jamestown from South Florida with her family in June 2019. Born in France, but raised mostly in Boca Raton, Florida, she attended the University of Florida, in Gainesville. Here she earned an undergraduate, followed by a Master’s Degree, in Exercise and Sports Sciences. After a brief, but very fulfilling, time working in the fitness industry, Emilie attended the fire academy. She followed the fire academy by paramedic school and began a second career as a firefighter/paramedic for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. She worked alongside her husband for 12 years before a back injury ended her career at the fire department. After moving to Jamestown, Emilie began teaching boot camp classes through the recreation department, as well as yoga.
Mindy has southern girl roots. She was born and raised in a small town in South Georgia and lived there until she moved to Florida when she met her husband. Mindy has been a proud military wife for the past 21 years. In 2006, she moved to Virginia and was a substitute teacher for several years. This led Mindy to a special education teacher assistant position with the Virginia Beach Public School System. In 2020, the military brought Mindy’s family to Rhode Island. She has been working at Village Hearth Bakery & Cafe for the past two years. Mindy and her husband are currently empty nesters and happily call Jamestown, Rhode Island their home. Their daughter and son are away attending college.
Sarah joins the VHBC Board with over 25 years of experience working in higher education. She worked for not for profits as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting. After twenty years in New York City, Sarah, along with her wife and two young sons, relocated to Jamestown, RI. They are thrilled to be part of such a vibrant community. She holds a M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University as well as a M.P.A. from Baruch College, City University of New York. She is currently a youth career specialist working for both The Greater Newport County Chamber of Commerce and the East Bay Community Action Program.
Source: Village Hearth Bakery & Cafe